As a Canadian, I love Australia. This is my fourth visit, but it, too, suffers from a fringe of evil, narrow-minded, so called Christians, who wish to use their religion to justify not giving marriage equality to the LGBT community. Wake up, Australia. You are known for fighting for the “little guy” – come on, be True Blue to everyone. paula.
TELSTRA has caved to pressure from the Catholic Church, pulling a public campaign in favour of same-sex marriage — and its customers are not happy.
The telecommunications giant, and one of Australia’s largest companies, copped heat on social media after it said it would no longer actively back marriage equality.
It’s another unwelcome spotlight on the company following weeks of repeated outages that left customers seething.
Queensland mum and the national spokeswoman for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) slammed Telstra and said the company should be “ashamed” of itself after caving into “bullying” from the Catholic Church.
Shelley Argent told news.com.au she had even considered disconnecting from the telco but in her neighbourhood there were no other options.
The former nominee for Senior Australian of the Year said she was furious at Telstra’s apparent decision to step away for its support of same-sex marriage, despite it officially being a backer of the campaign.
But Telstra said it hadn’t changed it’s position, it just had no plans to express it’s view.
Last year, Telstra joined hundreds of other companies in publicly declaring its support for same-sex marriage with its logo appearing online and in press adverts from Australian Marriage Equality (AME), the primary campaign group backing the change.
Telstra’s main rivals, Optus and Vodafone, are also listed as backing the marriage equality campaign.
The Government says it will hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage if it wins the next election, a move criticised by marriage equality campaigners who say Parliament should make the decision and a public vote will stir up hatred towards gay people.
However, a letter from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, suggesting religious organisations could scrap contracts with companies supporting marriage equality, appears to have toppled Telstra’s support.
The archdiocese’s business manager, Michael Digges, wrote to companies whose logos were associated with AME saying it had “grave concerns” about them backing the campaign, reported The Australian.
“You may be aware that the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is a significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international,” Mr Digges wrote.
“Undoubtedly, many of the Catholic population of Sydney would be your employees, customers, partners and suppliers. It is therefore with grave concern that I write to you about the Marriage Equality for Australians campaign.”
It’s understood Telstra has contracts with Catholic schools across the country.
NOTE HERE: Cardinal Pell, one of Australia’s Cardinals was called to account for the number of pedophile priests who abused and raped children under his authority. He just simply didn’t know about these things….LOL>
Statements made by victims – when Cardinal Pell was in charge.
Another priest was present when Gerald Ridsdale raped a child in his bedroom in a house he shared with other priests, including George Pell, a royal commission has heard.
Ridsdale told the royal commission he could not remember who the priest was.
…. Counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness, SC, asked Ridsdale about his abuse of a child in his bedroom at St Alipius’ presbytery, where he lived with George Pell in the early 1970s. Ridsdale has accepted that he lived with Pell at the time, but has told the commission he cannot remember having any dealings with him.
…. Between 1972 and 1973, he abused a girl after she followed him into his bedroom to see his rock collection.
The girl believed that there was another priest there for a short time while Ridsdale sexually abused her, but did not intervene.
“I accept that’s what she believed,” Ridsdale said.
…. Counsel assisting the commission said “can you help us with who was the priest?”
“I don’t know, because I’ve said I don’t know who the other priests were there [living at the presbytery] at the same time, except George Pell.”
Gerald Ridsdale hides behind sunglasses whilst, in 1993, bare-faced mate George Pell accompanies his one time flatmate to Court, when Ridsdale pleaded guilty to a litany of indecent assault charges.
A spokesman for Telstra said the company had a “long tradition” of supporting diversity and inclusion.
“Our position on the issue has not changed,” said a statement. “What has changed is that the Government has indicated it will call a plebiscite on the issue.
“Our people and stakeholders can contribute to this process and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views.
“Given this we have no further plans to be active in the debate.”
It hasn’t satisfied Telstra customers who have given the company a roasting on social media. One customer was particularly unimpressed when a staff member suggested his anger was due to his “ideology”.
BULLIED BY THE CHURCH
Ms Argent said she was livid at Telstra’s apparent about face. “I understand Telstra would be worrying about shareholders but they’ve been held up as one of major companies supporting marriage equality and now they’re allowing themselves to be bullied by the church.
“I think Telstra should be ashamed and I think the church should be ashamed they’re even asking this,” she told news.com.au.
“It’s absolutely typical, they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk and at first sign of trouble they back down.”
Ms Argent said religious groups were using “the Bible as a weapon” in the marriage equality debate and that she expected gay and lesbian Telstra employees “wouldn’t go to work feeling good today”.
Half of Australia’s top 10-ASX listed companies have thrown their weight behind marriage equality including the Commonwealth, NAB, ANZ and Westpac banks along with retailer Wesfarmers. Of the leading blue chips, miners Newcrest, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as AMP and Blackmores, have not backed the campaign.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Ms Argent said supporters should stand firm. “If churches can divide, they will conquer but if we stand together we’ll be fine.”
National director of AME, Rodney Croome, told news.com.au Telstra had signed an open letter of support in favour of marriage equality in May last year but had not been asked to take part in any more campaigning since.
“AME values the support of all the 870 businesses that have signed in support of marriage equality, including Telstra,” he said.
Croome added that no company had requested their logo be removed from the website and more organisations were asking to join the campaign every day.
Last year, a similar letter was sent from the archdiocese again stating the church was an extensive user of services, reported the ABC. However, at the time, a number of organisations, including lawyers Maurice Blackburn, said they would not be intimidated.